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Standardized food governance? Reflections on the potential and limitations of chemical-free shrimp

  • Hatanaka, Maki
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    Multilayered conformity-assessment systems (MCASs) are becoming an increasingly prominent governance mechanism in food and agriculture. MCASs maintain their legitimacy through the use of scientific norms and practices, as well as multiple tiers of oversight. The purported outcome is standardized conformity-assessment practices, and thus, standardized food and production practices regardless of location or producer. This article examines the ability of MCASs to enforce one form of zero tolerance standards: organics (i.e., zero-synthetic chemicals). The focus is on the governance of organic standards in the rural Indonesia, where the idea of zero tolerance is historically foreign. Drawing on a case study of an organic shrimp project in Indonesia, the ways that the social, economic, and cultural conditions of the global South affect the operations of a MCAS and the capacity of the MCAS to adapt to such conditions are examined. My findings raise questions as to the capability of MCASs to ensure standardized food governance globally.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 138-145

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:138-145
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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    1. Ponte, Stefano, 2008. "Greener than Thou: The Political Economy of Fish Ecolabeling and Its Local Manifestations in South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 159-175, January.
    2. Hatanaka, Maki, 2010. "Certification, Partnership, and Morality in an Organic Shrimp Network: Rethinking Transnational Alternative Agrifood Networks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 706-716, May.
    3. Vandergeest, Peter, 2007. "Certification and Communities: Alternatives for Regulating the Environmental and Social Impacts of Shrimp Farming," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1152-1171, July.
    4. Hatanaka, Maki & Bain, Carmen & Busch, Lawrence, 2005. "Third-party certification in the global agrifood system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 354-369, June.
    5. Lawrence Busch, 2011. "The private governance of food: equitable exchange or bizarre bazaar?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 345-352, September.
    6. Edward B. Barbier & Mark Cox, 2003. "Does Economic Development Lead to Mangrove Loss? A Cross-Country Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(4), pages 418-432, October.
    7. Maki Hatanaka & Jason Konefal & Douglas Constance, 2012. "A tripartite standards regime analysis of the contested development of a sustainable agriculture standard," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 65-78, March.
    8. Taylor, Peter Leigh, 2005. "In the Market But Not of It: Fair Trade Coffee and Forest Stewardship Council Certification as Market-Based Social Change," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 129-147, January.
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